What really amazes me is that she had only a 25% chance of death in this surgery. That seems really low. This girl has a conjoined twin which never developed a head and was a danger to the girl. At first the parents thought it was a reincarnation of one of their gods. In reality the girl was going to die and over 30 surgeons helped bring hope to her future.
NEW DELHI, India, Nov. 7, 2007 —
In the desperately poor corner of Bihar, India, she was a miracle.
Tiny Lakshmi Tatma was born two years ago with four arms and four legs. The local population considered her the manifestation of a goddess. Her parents named her after the four-armed Hindu goddess of wealth.
A local circus even tried to buy her, but her parents chose health over fame and asked a team of doctors to remove her extra limbs. The surgery, conducted in Bangalore, ended successfully this afternoon.
“The child has withstood the procedure in an excellent manner,” Dr. Sharan Patil, the team leader who planned the surgery for more than a month, told reporters outside the Sparsh Hospital. “This girl can now lead as good a life as anyone else.”
It took more than 30 surgeons 27 hours to not only remove two of Lakshmi’s arms and two of her legs but also to rebuild much of her body and save her organs. They say the chances of death were as high as 25 percent.
The cost of such a complex procedure would have been $625,000, far too great for the Lakshmi’s family to afford. The hospital’s foundation paid.
“We are very grateful to all the doctors for seeing our plight and deciding to help us,” Tatma’s father, Shambhu, told The Associated Press.
The doctors “worked relentlessly through the night to make the operation successful,” Patil said, adding there had been “no setback at any stage of the surgery.”